The Governess

An analysis of the various aspects of The Turn of the Screw's main character; The Governess.

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  • The Governess
    • Past
      • Born to a poor country parson
        • Brought up with religion
        • She was educated
          • Usually only rich people and members of the church are educated
    • She is given no name
      • Reinforces her role as a servant(and her class), by not having a name.
    • Ghosts: Real or not real?
      • Real
        • Brought up in a highly religious background
          • Christian's generally are discouraged from the belief of ghosts
            • The Governess is unlikely to imagine ghosts as she believes them to be false
      • Not real
        • No one else definitely saw the ghosts
        • She went in search of ghosts
          • Not usual behaviour
          • She confronts the ghosts
            • Not usual behaviour
        • There are 3 traditional roles for women in Victorian books
          • The whore, the mother and the lunatic
            • The Governess has aspects of all 3 however, Mrs Grose takes the role of the mother and Miss Jessel as the whore
              • Therefore leaving the role of the lunatic to the Governess
        • She's under a huge amount of pressure with little experience which is causing her to hallucinate order to rationalize things
    • Unreliable Narrator?
      • The  Governess is seen as unreliable as she is very emotional
      • Can't know if Governess is biased as there is no other point of view
      • She's experiencing a lot of pressure which and obscure her ability to rationalize.


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